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On Regeneration. How it is wrought in the soul by the Holy Ghost, who quickens it with spiritual life, and makes it a partaker of the divine naturea.
OD'S love, which is from everlasting to everlasting, ineffable, and incomprehensible, hath been discovered towards the elect in such a manner as shews the interest of the divine persons in the Godhead in them. The Father's love was manifested in electing them in Christ and together with him before the foundation of the world, in predestinating them to the enjoyment of all those spiritual and communicable blefsings of his grace, which followed upon their union and relation to the person of his dear Son, considered as God-man, whom he had given to be their eternal head. This love, which is in God, from whence all these spiritual and supernatural blessings flow, surmounts the utmost conception of the glorified, and consequently will for ever and ever exceed all their exprefsions of it.
The open display of this love in God the Father, made known in the eternal
a 2 Pet. i. 4.
redemption of the elect by Christ from sin, satan, the world, death, and hell, which is but the overflowings of everlasting love in the fruits and effects of it, cannot, in its greatnefs and glory, be fully conceived of on earth by the church militant, nor uttered in Heaven by the church triumphant. The love of God the Son, manifested in his condescending to become God-man, their head and husband, is inexprefsible. His love in becoming the surety of his people cannot be fully explored by the saints to all eternity. He loved them to such a degree, and made it evident in such a manner, as will fill the minds of the elect angels and saints with perpetual astonishment throughout the ages of eternity. His emptying himself of his personal glory, by laying it aside and putting it off for a season, was a manifestation of love to us which can never be exprefsed. His taking on himself the form of a servant, appearing in our world in the likeness of sinful flesh, and giving his whole person an offering for sin, his soul to be bruised, his body to be broken, his blood to be shed, and laying down his life, which exceeded in value the whole creation of God, is love, in its eternity, immensity, perpetuity, and effects, surpafsing all understanding. On earth it affords an Hea
ven to saints, when their minds are engaged in the contemplation of it. And it will yield a perpetual feast to such as are admitted to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The love of the Holy Ghost towards the elect, of which there is exprefs mention made by the apostle Paul, in its eternal spring and origin is equal with the love of the Father and the Son. The peculiar way in which he makes it known to the objects of it is in and by spiritual regeneration. The apostle tells us, we are saved, "Not by works "of righteousnefs which we have done, "but according to his mercy he saved "us, by the washing of regeneration "and renewing of the Holy Ghost, "which he shed on us abundantly "through Jesus Christ our Saviour." In this passage the concern and interest of the eternal Trinity in salvation-work are most gloriously exprefsed. The part and office of the Holy Ghost in our salvation consist in renewing us. He quickens the elect with spiritual life, enlightens their minds to know Christ, reveals him to them, forms him in their hearts, and brings them to build all their hopes of eternal glory on him alone. He sheds abroad the Father's love in their hearts, and gives them a real sense of it. In which experience of his grab Titus iii. 5, 6.
• Rom, xv. 30.
cious and effectual influence on their souls they say with the Psalmist, "Blefsed is "the man whom thou choosest, and "causest to approach unto thee, that he
may dwell in thy courts; we shall be "satisfied with the pleasures of thy house, "even of thy holy temple."
The Holy Ghost in the exercise of his gracious office on their behalf and in their souls proves to a demonstration, that his love towards the heirs of glory is ineffable and incomprehensible. As the work of the Holy Ghost consists in making our souls alive to God, in realizing the transactions of the Father and the Son in the everlasting covenant, and in creating in us spiritual faculties, whereby we are fitted for the enjoyment of God and for holding communion with him, it is internal; hence it is, that, his work being within us, we are apt to overlook him, and are prone to neglect giving him the glory of his spiritual distinction in deity, and efsential Godhead; and most sadly fail to give him his true and proper praise for his great grace towards us. Thus it is with all believers; they find themselves more disposed to think on the love of Christ, and on the Father's love in the gift of him, than in exercising their minds spiritually in soulenflaming and heart-warming meditations
Psalm lxv. 4.
on the love and mercy of the Holy Ghost towards them, and his delight in them; though all they know and enjoy of the Father's love, by faith in the finished salvation of the Son, is entirely from the inward teaching and supernatural influences of the eternal Spirit. This must be acknowledged a great defect, which is too plainly evidenced in our neglecting to pray distinctly to him. as a divine person in Godhead, and as Lord and God. It originates from our forgetfulness, that all the persons in the Godhead are equally interested in our salvation, and in each and every act of grace concerning us; viz. in those which are immanent in God towards us, as his eternal love fixed on us, out of which he chose us, and bestowed and decreed all blessings for us; likewise in those acts in Christ done for us in his incarnate state, wherein he represented us, and lived and died in our law-place, room, and stead; and also in those wrought in us and upon us in bestowing all those blessings of the spirit discovered in our effectual calling, justification, sanctification, and glorification.-The Holy Ghost, as a person in the Godhead, distinct from the Father and the Son, is the object of faith, hope, love, and every act of spiritual worship. Yet his divine, efficacious, and powerful work, which is